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Leeds sack Darko Milanic after 32 days in charge

Championship side Leeds United has confirmed the sacking of coach Darko Milanic after just 32 days in charge of the club.

The club said Neil Redfearn will take charge of first team training on Monday morning and president Massimo Cellino apologised to the fans for the team's recent poor results.

Milanic was appointed on 23 September but did not win any of his six games in charge.

For more on this story visit the ITV Sport website.

Football: Scores and results

Today's scores Credit: Press Association

Premier League - Click here for scores and results

Liverpool v Hull

Championship - Click here for scores and results

Brighton v Rotherham Ipswich v Huddersfield Leeds v Wolves Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich

League One - Click here for scores and results

Barnsley v Bristol City
Crewe v Sheffield United
Doncaster v MK Dons
Oldham v Bradford
Scunthorpe v Notts County
Walsall v Chesterfield

League Two - Click here for scores and results

York v Mansfield

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Football: Saturday's fixtures

Credit: Press Association

Premier League - Click here for updates

Liverpool v Hull

Championship - Click here for updates

Brighton v Rotherham Ipswich v Huddersfield Leeds v Wolves Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich

League One - Click here for updates

Barnsley v Bristol City Crewe v Sheffield United Doncaster v MK Dons Oldham v Bradford Scunthorpe v Notts County Walsall v Chesterfield

League Two - Click here for updates

York v Mansfield

Hull manager Bruce defends Mario Balotelli

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes people are unfairly "picking on" Mario Balotelli.

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli Credit: Press Association

The Liverpool striker has come under-fire after he swapped shirts with Real Madrid's Pepe at half-time on Wednesday.

It was whilst his side trailed Real by three goals in the Champions League encounter and was substituted at the break.

Hull travel to Anfield in the Premier League today (3pm) and Bruce believes Balotelli is not playing as badly as some are suggesting.

Former Yorkshire Super League coaches do battle on international stage

It will be master against apprentice when Wales do battle with France in their must-win European Championship clash in Albi on Saturday afternoon.

John Kear (above) had Richard Agar as his assistant during Hull FC's Challenge Cup win Credit: Press Association

The second round of matches pits French head coach and former Hull FC and Wakefield head coach Richard Agar against his old mentor John Kear, a former England and France boss who is now in charge of his third national team after succeeding Iestyn Harris at Wales.

The 2014 European Championship is one long round of reunions for the veteran former Wakefield Head Coach Kear, who helped launch Agar's coaching career at Hull in 2004, coached Scotland captain Danny Brough at two Super League clubs and in tandem with Ireland boss Mark Aston steered Sheffield Eagles to their stunning win over Wigan in the 1998 Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

"I go back a long way with all three," Kear said. "I've had a very interesting last 10 or 15 years. We keep inter-twining, locking horns and it's great. It's part of the rugby league family."

Both France and Wales go into their meeting on the back of defeats and know a loss in Albi will end their hopes both of tournament success and of securing the big prize of a place in the 2016 Four Nations Series.

Kear's men will be looking to bounce back from their 42-18 defeat by Scotland while pre-tournament favourites France are reeling from a shock 22-12 loss to Ireland.

"We had a really good review of the previous performance against Scotland and we've identified areas that we need to tidy up and improve on," Kear said.

"The players' application has been first class and if they take that on to the field against France then I'll be very satisfied.

"This week will be vastly different to the Scotland game in Cumbria last Friday. We played in a howling gale and driving rain and, from the forecasts we've been getting, we'll have no rain on Saturday, 25 degree sunshine and the ground will be very firm."

Agar is poised to give a debut to Lezignan hooker John Boudebza, who this week completed a move to Hull KR, while Kear has called up four fresh faces as he rebuilds a youthful Welsh squad.

"It's exciting for the game in Wales," Kear said. "We've given a lot of people some opportunities. Some have taken them without a shadow of a doubt and are going to be here for a good few years yet."

For Wales and Ireland, who host the Scots in Dublin on Saturday afternoon, there is also the prospect of securing automatic entry into the 2017 World Cup down under.

"With the enormity of this fixture we will be looking to up our game against Scotland," Aston said. "Last week was a fantastic victory and it is important that we keep the spirit that we showed against France and build on that."

Scotland coach Steve McCormack, who celebrated 10 years in the job on Friday, reckons his side will need to find some improvement if they are to halt the improving Irish.

"A lot of people were shocked by Ireland beating France but nothing surprises me any more," said McCormack.

"We know we are going to have to be at our very best to win.

"If we play like we did in the second half against Wales we will give ourselves a chance but we've got to learn from where we went wrong in the first half."

Eagles sign former Giant Tonks

Sheffield Eagles have signed former Huddersfield Giants forward Tony Tonks.

Former Huddersfield Giants prop Tony Tonks Credit: Press Association

The 29-year-old front rower has made 141 Championship appearances for Halifax and his previous club Featherstone Rovers, scoring 19 tries.

He is the Eagles' seventh signing of the close season, joining Blake South, John Davies, Steve Thorpe, Jamie Langley, Ben Musolino and former Halifax team-mate Rob Worrincy.

"Games against Sheffield have always been tough battles," said Tonks.

"You can see there is a real togetherness and a real strong culture at the club, and I want to be a part of that.

“Having spoken to Mark Aston you can see he is building something here. He has made some really good signings, and the players that are already here are class acts as well.

"He is taking steps to improve the club and the squad so I’m looking forward to being involved.

“I think top four is definitely achievable. When you look at the sides that will be competing at the top end of the table, I don’t think Sheffield are far away from them at all.

"As long as all the new lads fit in well, which I’m sure we will, I think we will be right up there."

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Leeds Head Coach still looking for first win

Leeds United head coach Darko Milanic is still waiting for his first win in the Championship since taking charge just over a month ago.

This week Milanic has had to cope with the fallout of a racism row involving defender Guiseppe Bellusci, who's been accused of making racist comments during Tuesday night's one all draw at Norwich.

Now he has to turn his attention to another big game against fourth placed Wolves at Elland Road.

Former Super League winger Brown joins Halifax

Halifax have signed former Hull KR winger Alex Brown from Leigh.

Halifax have signed former Hull KR wing Alex Brown Credit: Press Association

Brown spent much of last season on loan at Batley, and former Fax coach Karl Harrison agreed a deal to bring him to The Shay just before he left to join Bradford Bulls as assistant coach.

"Alex played plenty of Super League for Hull KR in 2013, so he’s had some success at the top level,” said Halifax coach Richard Marshall.

“I’m not sure why things didn’t work out for him at Leigh, but he’s at the stage now where needs to settle down and enjoy his rugby again.

“He is a big, strong player who will add some size and speed to the backline. We’ve got three specialist wingers in Alex, Tommy Saxton and Gareth Potts and they all bring something slightly different to the team.

“I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of Tommy; he gets his nose through the line and gets the team moving forward.

“I’ll be looking for Alex to do something similar and I’m sure it’s going to be a great competition between those three for the wing spots."

Marshall has also added to his backroom team, with long-serving Swinton player and coach Marlon Billy being appointed as his assistant for 2015.

"Marlon has been pretty much a one-club man, which says a lot about his honesty and his strength of character,” said Marshall.

"I spoke to a few people, but Marlon showed a lot of desire to come here and he’s excited about progressing his own career as a coach.

"I played with him at Swinton, coached him at Swinton, and he’s someone who will do a good job for us.

"He was a back as a player, which I felt was important, he’s reasonably local and he’s got a good knowledge of the Championship, the teams in it, the players in it.

"I used to bump into him at Warrington when Swinton were training there and I’ve had a few conversations with him about coaching.

"His philosophy fits with mine and he’s not afraid to ruffle a few feathers either, which is good."

McNamara aware of Samoa threat

England rugby league coach Steve McNamara insists that his men will not underestimate Samoa when the teams meet tomorrow morning.

England coach Steve McNamara shaking hands with Samoa boss Steve Parish ahead of their clash in Brisbane Credit: Press Association

Samoa secured their place in the competition back in May when they beat rivals Fiji in a qualifying match.

The England Knights were far too strong for the Islanders when the two sides met 12 months ago running out convincing 52-16 winners at Salford.

However, former Bradford boss McNamara insists that he will keep his side grounded as they enter into the tie knowing that they will have some tough opponents to contend with.

McNamara said: "I think it's only the press that are saying Samoa are the underdogs.

"We fully understand the quality of personnel in their group. Their players have been involved in finals and Grand Finals, they are a very talented team.

"They've got an ability to break tackles and run over teams so, defensively, we are going to have a real challenge on our hands."

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Ched Evans' aunt: 'He will never show remorse'

Ched Evans' aunt has attacked the footballer for not apologising to the victim of the rape for which he was convicted.

Nina Evans, 56, told the Sun: “Ched won’t grasp or listen. He won’t admit he’s done wrong. He’ll never show remorse.”

Footballer Ched Evans outside court. Credit: PA

Ms Evans, who works as an addiction counsellor and sometimes treats rape victims, said she was very disappointed in a video apology her nephew made.

In the video Evans apologised to girlfriend Natasha Massey but did not mention his victim.

“It cut me like a knife. I hoped he’d come to his senses and say the right thing. What about his poor victim? It’s a massive insult to her," Ms Evans said.

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